Why Getting Paid to Speak Isn’t the Point

So right now I should really be editing some videos but I felt called to not do that and write this post instead. One thing that’s huge on my list of things to do in 2017 is to grace the stage and make speaking a part of my business strategy. Insider peek at my Q3/Q4 business plan: By June I want to be giving talks at least three times per month. (There’s something about sharing that publicly that makes it REAL!)

Here’s the thing that I’ve learned over the last few weeks: getting paid to speak is NOT the point. And full disclosure, I booked my first paid speaking gig ever for later this spring and that’s awesome. But making a few bucks to talk for an hour is not the M.O. The actual purpose, point, and pleasure in public speaking is having an opportunity to connect with your target client. (And I’m gonna have to write a rant about “opportunities” later, but that’s another post and this time I really do see it as an opportunity, not a thinly veiled request for a favour.) What you do with an unpaid offer to address a crowd of your ideal clients is on you. Speaking for myself, presenting on stage gives me the opportunity to do a few things:

1.       Position myself as a leader and authority inspiring the crowd to trust me, as well as collecting credentials to leverage for future speaking gigs.

2.       Show the attendees what’s possible for them through stories of my own and of my past and present clients.

3.       Collect leads by way of offering a free gift and/or 20-minute Get Seen Strategy Session

4.       And most importantly (and profitably): make an offer.

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Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a bit of a learning addict. I cancelled cable in favour of just watching webinars when I’m laid up on the couch. Fortunately I’ve recently come across the work of Alysa Rushton and Lisa Sasevich and I’m learning how to ‘speak to sell’, as per Lisa Sasevich’s boot camp program that I invested in a few weeks ago. And the more I learn from these professional speakers, the more I kinda want to do unpaid talks. Listen, making anywhere from $250 to $2,500 for a talk is great, but it’s also short-sighted. I’d rather talk for free, provide incredible value that makes a real difference for everyone in the crowd, and then invite those who are interested to take the next step and work with me – ideally converting at least 50% of the attendees into leads, and 20% of the audience into immediate clients by strategically using limiters and bonuses. Giving a free talk is not “volunteer work”; get over yourself. If you’re standing in front of a room of your ideal clients and not using that as a mechanism to move them forward to work with you, that’s on you. My own business coach, a multi-seven figure earner (annually!) PAYS to be on stage. Know why? Because she knows she’ll walk off that stage closing hundreds of thousands in sales. Both Alysa and Lisa have great free resources that will teach you how to reap the benefits of speaking on stage, whether you’re getting paid or not. I highly encourage anyone to give these a download and learn how speaking for free isn’t doing the event organizer or the audience a favour – you’re doing yourself a favour.